The American Health Care Act was passed by the House this week, which will repeal and replace much of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). If you’re concerned about your health insurance (as I am), coverage, medication costs, etc., now is the time to educate yourself on how you can take control of your own health.
Coverage of pre-existing conditions may become a lot more expensive, and according to Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, these include:
Scary! On our end, other than phoning your representatives, what we can do is take our own steps in preventing illness and promoting healing by making healthier choices. We take care of our health now so that we don’t have to take care of it later, in the form of sky-high hospital bills, emotional turmoil, or worse.
Here are some things to consider:
Listen to your body
Take note of the things you do throughout the day and how they affect you – what you’ve eaten, how much water you consumed, how many hours you slept, any exercise you’ve done or haven’t done, etc. How do you feel throughout the day and do you notice any changes when you do or eat certain things? Do you feel energized after exercising or absolutely exhausted? Does your stomach hurt after your usual breakfast? Are all your social commitments stressing you out?
Paying attention to the way our environment and lifestyle affect us is so important. Being in tune with our bodies helps us pinpoint areas where we can improve and make changes to feel better physically and emotionally. A healthy mind is just as important to your wellness as a healthy body – they are deeply connected.
Find what works for you
Once you’ve discovered where you can make changes, you have to figure out how! There is no one-size-fits-all regimen.
If you want to feel energized by exercise, it has to be something you enjoy doing. Does Crossfit look like torture? Maybe pilates is more up your alley. Try different types of movement to see what you enjoy and what makes you feel great. If there isn’t much to choose from in your area, try MoveWith audio workouts, Blogilates workouts on YouTube, free yoga classes that fit your needs at DoYogaWithMe.com. The internet is your oyster, there’s so much available!
Is your calendar the bane of your existence? Invite friends over for a potluck dinner instead of going out for drinks. Avoid scheduling back-to-back meetings at work so you have time to refresh and prepare. Schedule times to relax and take a walk so it’s built in to your day. Don’t feel obligated to say yes to everything, sometimes JOMO (joy of missing out) can be therapeutic.
Do green kale smoothies disgust you? Make you bloated? Kale is not for everyone. If you hate it, don’t eat it! You can get those nutrients in other foods like spinach. Does dairy give you a stomach ache? Stop eating it! There’s plenty of calcium in leafy greens, sesame seeds, almonds, etc.
The point is, knowing your body and what works well for it is your foundation for healthy choices.
Embrace culinary nutrition
Food is medicine! I can’t stress this enough, and it’s especially important if the future of your health care is up in the air. If you can’t afford to get sick and pay for medications or a doctor’s visit, the best way we can protect against illness is to eat well.
Culinary nutrition is the practice of cooking to promote optimal health. The best part about it is that you can do it on your own or guided by the right resources. Especially if you’re ailing in some way, it’s important to know the foods which contain nutrients that work to promote healing in your body. Here are some options for your personal education:
- You can learn from me! Try out my recipes, meal plans, or cooking classes. In all my recipes, I include important nutrition information and what the ingredients will do for your body.
- You can embrace it to the max and enroll in the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program (where I received my certification), which is a serious deep dive into the world of nutrition – an intense program but oh-so worth it. It really changed my lifestyle and my approach to cooking as well. If you’re interested in this training, I am an open book for questions about the certification and highly recommend it!
- You can make it really simple and eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet. There are endless possibilities for delicious meals with so many free recipes online, and sticking with more whole foods gets you to be more creative and confident in the kitchen. I suggest signing up for the Buzzfeed Food newsletter, they compile tons of recipes and very often have health-focused recipe roundups.
- You can read, read, and read some more! There are so many insightful books like The Big Fat Surprise and Salt, Sugar, Fat that talk about the manipulative practices of the food industry, nutrition studies, their flawed methods, dubious funding by their own industries (good read: “How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat” in The New York Times). It will change the way you eat, cook, and shop at the grocery store, and teach you better ways to nourish yourself. For specific conditions, I also recommend the Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. I will have to do a future post on recommended books because there are so many!
- You can work with me! I realize that not everybody may be excited to read a book about studies on saturated fat or to spend 200+ hours learning about the micronutrients in sweet potatoes, but I’ve done all that and more already so you don’t have to. If you’re looking for guidance on simply eating for optimal health, or if you’re suffering from a health condition and want to do all that you can to promote health in your body, food can certainly be your medicine and I can help guide you. I offer customized meal plans, as well as a 3-month holistic nutrition coaching program to help you feel your best and learn the best foods for your body.
Nutrition education is important now more than ever, and I hope this helped point you in the right direction for taking control of your health while we wait for things in the political realm to get better. If you have any questions feel free to email me or comment below!
Forks Over Knives was my introduction into eating better. Changed my life. It’s like: Take your choice – your fork or their scalpel. Choose. Forks trump scalpels. Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Insurance…. Bye bye. Hello to more control over my own destiny. Ok – rant over. Thanks for this thoughtful post, Kristen.